Regulation “Real Leather” Balls: Regulation real leather balls can be used in pitching machines however they will not pitch as consistent as a pitching machine ball. This is a fact that many coaches like as it simulates a real pitch with location changes each time. Regulation real leather balls also have a shorter lifespan. In addition they tend to transfer material to the wheel(s) or throwing pads. This material transfer may cause a build up to develop on the throwing surfaces. Material build up, if left un-checked can affect performance of the pitching machine but can be controlled by removing it with #60 sandpaper or emery cloth. This should be done on an “as needed” basis at the time the material buildup is detected.
DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC LEATHER BALLS!! Synthetic leather balls were not designed to be used in pitching machines and may leave a massive amount of buildup on the throwing surfaces of the machine, effecting pitching machine performance. Many Synthetics also have a harder core then a Regulation Real Leather ball which makes the ball give less when it is being pitched. This can drastically affect the pitching accuracy. When using real baseballs or softballs, use only regulation leather balls.
Ball Consistency: In order to assure accuracy, the balls being used should be of the same type, wear and manufacturer. A pitching machine will only be as consistent as the balls being used: Never mix worn “old” balls with new balls Do not mix different brands of balls Do not mix different types of balls When using a seamed ball, feed the ball into the machine with the seams in the same general position each time. Wet or damp balls tend to slip on the throwing surfaces. Towel dry any balls that have moisture on them before using in a pitching machine. Extreme cold can cause balls to become harder then normal. This could cause the balls to pitch slower and / or inconsistently.
Use Dimpled Pitching Machine Balls or Regulation Leather Balls Only. Do not use Synthetic Leather balls..